Study finds tall people at top of wages ladder

May 17, 2009

Tall people earn higher wages than their vertically-challenged counterparts while being obese does not mean a slimmed-down pay packet, according to a new study in Australia.

The researchers found a strong link between wages and , particularly for men, with each additional 10 centimetres (four inches) of height adding three percent to hourly wages.

The "height premium" was two percent per 10 centimetres for women, researchers from the University of Sydney and Canberra's Australian National University (ANU) found.

They calculated that every five centimetres (two inches) above the average height of 178 centimentres (5 feet 10 inches) boosted a male's wages by the equivalent of an extra year's experience in the labour force.

"This result holds constant across a number of other factors that also affect wages, such as age, race, family background, experience and education," said ANU professor Andrew Leigh.

The researchers, who examined health and income data from almost 20,000 Australians, also found that being overweight did not mean a lighter pay packet -- in contrast to previous studies.

"We were surprised to find that there seemed to be no wage penalty to being overweight or obese in the Australian labour market," Leigh said.

"This is in contrast with previous studies that used older data from the United States and Germany and found that people with higher () earned lower wages."

He said one explanation may be that because fat Australians were now in the majority, they did not face discrimination in the workplace.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

Related Stories

How far does the apple fall from the tree?

Jan 25, 2008

Australians have a greater chance of rising up the income ladder over generations than Americans do, according to new research from The Australian National University.

Workers Get Paid More When They Work For Powerful CEOs

May 19, 2006

For workers at publicly held companies, it literally pays to have a very powerful boss. A new study found that entrenched CEOs – those who have more control rights in their company than all other shareholders combined -- ...

Recommended for you

Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

Apr 25, 2015

Buffalo's chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, ...

Study finds we think better on our feet, literally

Apr 24, 2015

A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts. In fact, preliminary results show 12 percent ...

Improving transfer of migrant remittances

Apr 24, 2015

Millions of people work abroad as maids, construction workers and other low-wage laborers. The money they send back home is essential to their families, helping them start businesses, send children to school ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.